“Courage is the heart’s blossom” – Mark Nepo
Clara* trudged into my office and plopped her petite body down onto my consult chair. Her hardened face revealed that she had experienced life without gleaning its wisdom; she radiated resentment and resignation, and, though her gaze was direct, her eyes were listless. The dark circles under her eyes were exasperated by her pale, lifeless complexion. She had poor health for someone forty-nine years of age: she was chronically exhausted, had frequent bouts of the flu and colds, and had two molars which were infected and being treated with antibiotics. She also had long-term acute digestive distress, which limited her to a very restricted diet. She confessed that she rarely had a bowel movement more than once every three weeks, and when she did it was a very painful experience. She smoked ten cigarettes and drank four cups of coffee a day, ate very little food, and rarely exercised. “What is the point?” she lamented. “Life is too hard to live each day—I feel too ill to do anything and I hate my life. Can’t you just give me some stuff to feel better?” The way she treated her body reflected her inner despair. I took a deep breath, knowing this was not going to be an easy consult and that it would take more than a couple of pills to help Clara.
Clara’s extreme constipation, immune issues, and overall dismal health are all manifestations of the Victim archetype. Energetically located in the First or Root chakra, the Victim archetype resides in all of us and is driven by a fear of not being able to survive in the world. At the root of this fear is a belief that we do not deserve to thrive; the resulting self deprecation keeps us in a state of disempowerment that prevents us from letting go of old thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and can become a form of passive control over our lives.
The Victim archetype is rampant in our world. External cultural programming feeds our sense of disempowerment and entitlement by providing a constant in-flow of fear-based information. We are taught to look outside of ourselves for comfort and turn to an infinite number of ways to emotionally numb ourselves. We live busy and frantic lifestyles, and we chose to blame others rather than accept responsibility for ourselves. We exist in a state of low consciousness, and each day becomes a struggle.
The Victim archetype teaches us to fear change and ambiguity. In response, we either seek to dominate or control our environment (proactive control), or we become apathetic and do not care about ourselves, our surroundings, or about others (passive control). Both of these behaviours keep us passionless and disconnected from Universal Will and the flow of our co-creative nature. Our deepest First chakra wounding is then realized: What is the point of being here? Lack of motivation, self loathing, lethargy, immune disease, adrenal fatigue/burn out, obesity, anxiety, binge eating, bone disorders, fibromyalgia, leg issues, constipation and other chronic health issues (see Chakra One in my book) occur when we fail to connect to the fire within us that ignites our inner drive and gives us the boost to get out of bed each day.
One of the best herbal allies for the Victim archetype is Dandelion. It’s most notable medicinal qualities include stimulating digestion by increasing bile output (which increases bowel moments), relaxing the sympathetic nervous system, regulating blood lipids and thyroid function, inhibiting tumour growth, stabilizing blood pressure, increasing serotonin levels, and protecting against viruses. It also contains many vitamins and trace minerals that feed the body’s life force.
Dandelion is a courageous plant and will grow where no other plant dares to live, rooting itself deeply in the ground. It thrives on marginal soil, breaking it up for better growth and making the most out of its home on the earth. The Plant spirit or archetypal energy of Dandelion pokes at the soul: it brings us out of our chaotic minds and grounds us in our bodies—while at the same time connecting us to our soul’s purpose. It transforms anger, blame, resentment, and other negative emotions into action and willpower, giving us the strength to overcome fear and helplessness. Dandelion allows us to transcend the Victim archetype and reactivate our own innate healing capabilities—as well as facilitate our own earthly path without fear—in service to the highest good for us and for all.
Every spring, Dandelions pop up on our lawns, in cracks and crevices and in other seemingly insurmountable birthing places, and raise their bright yellow heads to the sun. “Look at me, I can shine!” the Dandelion shouts. This tenacious plant reminds us that we are all searching for soulful purpose, brightness, and meaning in our lives, and that we can make the most of our circumstances—even when life seems depressing and bleak.
As 2012 continues to unfold, we are being faced with increased pressure from the Universe to step up and live our fullest potential. As I noted in my last blog (Are You Receiving a Wake-up Call from the Universe? – April 2012), we continue to feel our physical bodies being hit very hard due to the rapid shifts in collective energetic consciousness around us. This month, many of my clients are reporting feeling dizzy and ungrounded. Other symptoms include sinus infections/congestion, hypoglycemic episodes (so an increase in food intake is needed), cravings for carbohydrates (due to low serotonin), more fear than usual, lethargy, shoulder blade pain, tension in the solar plexus, calves, and the bottom of the feet (these areas fall on the gallbladder meridian). Two weeks ago, the flu virus made a recent comeback, with children being hit the hardest, and it is still floating around. It seems that on a subconscious level, we all realize that we are being asked to recalibrate and ascend in power again and this is propelling the fearful Victim archetype into high gear. Many of us are exhausted and cannot fathom the energy it will take to be brighter and stronger, so we (and our ego) sabotage ourselves and resist in a fruitless attempt to outsmart Universal will.
Dandelion’s message of “Feel the fear and do it anyway” is the perfect antidote to shedding our inner victim. To counter the aforementioned physical effects in clients, I am using Dandelion on its own or as part of The Earth Mother elixir or essence in many of my client’s protocols.
No one said changing our world was going to be easy. In fact, it is going to take a huge amount of inner and outer work to shift the collective human consciousness enough to get this out-of-control train back on the right track. So dig in deep like the roots of the Dandelion and feel your fear. Connect to your inner knowing of what is true for your path to help humanity and choose to live your life without illusion. This type of courage results in the deepening of one’s authenticity and the opening of the heart to profound joy.
*Clara’s name has been changed to protect her identity.
Need a good kick in your soulful butt? Want to stop being a victim and live your life more deeply? Then come to my workshop on Sunday, June 10th , 2012! There are still a few spaces left!
Need support through this next phase of your soulful and spiritual transition? Try:
*Healthy Boundaries tea for immune support
*A Walk in the Woods tea to feel grounded and receive support from Mother Earth
*Feel No Fear tea to help the soothe the nervous system and ease fear
*Urban Warrior tea to support the adrenals and provide a healthy boost to your energy levels.